7 reasons to visit Battambang, Cambodia
Battambang is usually overlooked. It lacks the plain Cambodian trump cards: no golden beaches, no capital town buzz, no Angkor Wat. on the other hand neither will it suffer from full traffic, coach various tourists, or hordes of touts. In fact, Cambodia’s second largest town is one in excellent balance – it’s active however friendly and fascinating while not being overwhelming. beneath its asleep persona could be a effervescent undercurrent of power, typically fuelled by the expat community. A smattering of pretentious dress shop hotels, offbeat cafés and innovative restaurants ar among the urban attracts, whereas the luxurious close rural area is right for excursions. Here, we’ve whittled down the highest seven reasons to go to.
1.For the restaurants
Some of Cambodia’s best natural manufacture in addition to an expat-driven demand permanently restaurants create Battambang an exciting place to eat. The vibration is low key – low-cost food stalls, laidback native haunts, pretentious cafés tucked down quiet sidestreets – with attention on Khmer, French and Western cuisines.For classic French favourites, furthermore as inventive dishes mixing Khmer and French influences (think sautéed frog with Khmer pesto), attempt Pomme d’Amor or pop into Lotus, an elegant restaurant-bar set during a restored exposed-brick-walled shophouse. the $64000 buzz, however, is concerning Jaan Tibeto-Burman language. one in every of Battambang’s newest ventures, this innovative eating place skillfully combines Khmer, Vietnamese and Thai influences in tapas-sized dishes. The seven-course set menu could be a steal at $15 per person, and includes dishes like Kampot pepper crab with chili jam and a zingy papaya and shrimp dish. The eating place, that has received the support of Australian cook David Thompson, conjointly doubles up as a social enterprise, coaching disadvantaged teens and giving its profits to the Cambodian Children’s Trust.
2. For free-wheeling
The rural area around Battambang lends itself utterly to exploration by bicycle. jarring roads lead past straightforward shacks, monasteries that echo with the sounds of vocalizing and village streets appropriated with vibrant wedding celebrations. occasionally the unclean, ochre tracks ar solely wide enough for one bike – difficult once you often ought to squeeze between a herd of Bos taurus. At alternative moments ways open out into associate degree expanse of vivid-green rice paddies rib with lazy streams.Take one in every of Soksabike’s half- or full-day tours and your journey are conjointly punctuated with journeys to native families to be told concerning house industries – from rice wine production to weaving – giving a well-earned break from the saddle and a valuable insight into native Khmer life.
3.For lazy days on the water
Water is at the center of Cambodian life. The huge Tonle Sap lake dominates the country’s core, the outline is caressed by limpid waters and therefore the mighty Mekong – one in every of the nice rivers of the planet – slices through the east. obtaining out on the water could be a good way to induce associate degree insight into the country, and therefore the quiet stretch of the injured Sangkae stream that cuts through Battambang is ideal for exploring by kayak.Green Orange Kayak, a neighborhood NGO that gives free English categories to locals, rents kayaks for half-day journeys from Ksach Poy. From this tiny village simply outside Battambang, you’ll paddle on the injured Sangke stream and into town. For abundant of the approach expect to be alone on the stream to fancy the scenery: this wandering stretch of calm water is flanked by steep banks wherever locals plough the land, asleep fishing villages and waving youngsters splashing within the shallows.
4. For a reminder of Cambodia’s past
A hulky mountain with a frightful past, Phnom Sampeu could be a excruciating however necessary day-trip from Battambang. At its high ar variety of temples and caves with tragic links to the Khmer Rouge; several of the buildings here were used as prisons and interrogation centres, whereas shortly away lie the ill-famed killing caves. it’s believed that as several as 10 thousand folks were thrown to their deaths here. One cave has been became a straightforward temple, wherever the bones of a number of the victims ar unbroken during a metal cage underneath the watchful eye of a Buddha sculpture. attempt to visit with adult male Ol (ask at Bambu Hotel), a neighborhood tuk tuk driver, who will take you to the mountain via a series of scenic backroads and tiny villages.
5. For Khmer cooking
If you are keen to undertake your hand at creating authentic Khmer dishes there is not any higher place than Battambang. native eating place Smokin’ Pot ran Cambodia’s initial cooking course – and fourteen years on it’s still going sturdy. Owner and cook Vannak runs standard 3 hour categories each morning, setting out with a visit to the native market and finishing with a hard-earned lunch. underneath Vannak’s patient and thorough instruction you will learn the way to create dishes like bamboo-leaf-infused fish amok (Cambodia’s national dish, a carefully spiced curry with hints of coconut and lemongrass) and chicken loc animal product (another national favorite of stir-fried marinated meat among a hot sauce).
6. For a ride on the bamboo train
The lack of regular train services in Kingdom of Cambodia has given rise to the norry, a unusual railway that runs on a brief section of track simply outside Battambang. People, rice and stock ar shuttled back and forth upon squat wood platforms, that ar placed on high of a wheeled metal carriage power-driven by atiny low engine. Neither of the train’s destinations, O Dambong and O Sra privy, ar of abundant interest to guests and you’re seemingly to induce a vexed by touts, however the expertise of riding the bamboo train is worthwhile.During the thirty minute journey the train occasionally reaches 40km/hr, blooming through jungle underbrush, rattling over very little bridges and whizzing past rice paddies. Meeting associate degreeother train on the track movement within the other way is an occurrence in itself: the train with the fewest passengers should be destroyed and cleared to the facet to permit the opposite train to pass – an imposingly swift operation.
7. For trendy sleeping
Battambang includes a scattering of fantastic however reasonable dress shop hotels. And a lot of appear to be shooting up all the time. without doubt one in every of the most effective places to remain is Bambu building, a perfectly-formed dress shop resort, set a couple of blocks back from the city district. Spacious rooms in pretty garden villas boast dark wood furnishings offset against painted walls, spa-like marble loos and high ceilings (some stretching up to arched roofs with stylishly exposed tiles). If you tear yourself faraway from the comfort of your space, there is conjointly an time pool, stylish outside lounge space and bar, wherever the favored nightly hour attracts a desirable mixture of building guests, travellers and native expats. once you desire going more abroad, investigate Bambu owner Pat’s notes in every space, a wealth of corporate executive tips about town and close space. Watch out, you’ll not wish to depart.